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Former Xbox chief critiques Sony’s new PS5 DualSense controller

Published Apr 18th, 2020 12:33PM EDT
PS5 Controller
Image: PlayStation

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  • Sony last week showed off its new DualSense controller for the PS5.
  • The controller boasts a completely new look and form factor.
  • Former Xbox director of marketing Albert Penello has some doubts about the new design.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Last week, Sony officially unveiled the design of its DualSense controller for the PlayStation 5. The new controller is certainly different from previous PlayStation controllers and, in my opinion, is a huge improvement from both an aesthetic and seemingly an ergonomic standpoint.

Personally, I’ve always been partial to the Xbox controller because I think it looks better and, more importantly, I find it more comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. The new DualSense controller for the PS 5, however, seems to have borrowed a quite few design elements from previous Xbox controllers and, to be honest, I’m pretty jazzed about it.

Aside from the new form factor, the DualSense controller boasts a different color scheme than previous PlayStation controllers. As opposed to an all-black design, the DualSense controller incorporates a two-tone color scheme that looks incredibly sleek.

It’s also worth noting that the DualSense controller is the first PlayStation controller to boast an internal microphone and haptic feedback.

“Haptic feedback adds a variety of powerful sensations you’ll feel when you play, such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud,” Sony Senior Vice President Hideaki Nishino said recently. “We also incorporated adaptive triggers into the L2 and R2 buttons of DualSense so you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.”

It all sounds great and the reception to the new controller design, along with its new features, has been overwhelmingly positive thus far.

Of course, with the Xbox vs PlayStation debate as heated as ever, it’s perhaps not surprising that former Xbox director Albert Penello recently highlighted some concerns he has regarding the new PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. Penello’s critiques, it’s worth noting, don’t focus on the controller’s appearance as much as they do on what he perceives to be some technical shortcomings.

Taking to Twitter, Penello lamented that the DualSense controller rests on the triggers when laid down on a flat surface. He also said that he’s “worried about the partline that runs down the grips,” noting that it could cause discomfort in the ball of the thumb for players with larger hands. He also wondered if the microphone will be as good in practice as it is in theory and whether or not the controller is backward compatible with the PS4.

While intriguing and admittedly fair points, it’s worth remembering that all of this is nothing more than conjecture until we actually get some first-hand impressions with the new controller. Incidentally, Penello conceded that he has yet to test out the new controller while adding that he’s “looking forward to it.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.